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A review of taeniasis and cysticercosis in the Lao People's Democratic Republic

Conlan, J., Khounsy, S., Inthavong, P., Fenwick, S., Blacksell, S. and Thompson, R.C.A. (2008) A review of taeniasis and cysticercosis in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Parasitology International, 57 (3). pp. 252-255.

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Taeniasis and cysticercosis are important but underreported parasitic zoonoses in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Reports of human and pig cysticercosis are rather limited and based largely on anecdotal evidence. To date, no structured surveys of disease prevalence or incidence have been reported. However, one unpublished pilot survey of pig cysticercosis in a slaughterhouse in northern Laos estimated prevalence to be 1.7%, without speciation of parasite cysts. Over the past 20 years, nine surveys of intestinal helminthic infection have been conducted; the prevalence of human taeniasis ranged from 0 to 14.0%. The study designs and sample sizes varied greatly, however a high degree of spatial and age variation in taeniasis prevalence was evident. These results are however inconclusive as the species of tapeworm infecting the people was not determined. To further our knowledge of taeniasis and cysticercosis in Lao PDR, structured community-based surveys in high-risk areas are required in combination with the use of sensitive and specific diagnostic tests capable of identifying the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. This will enable the development and implementation of control measures that are both appropriate and sustainable if T. solium is shown to be a public health threat.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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